As European youth, we have been called “the lost generation”

“The European Union has been hit hard by the crisis.”  How many times have we heard this sentence? Thousands and thousands of times, and we all know what it means for our generation: everybody has a friend, a cousin, a sibling or an acquaintance who can’t find a job.

It means that the crisis stops our time here and now, prevents the youth from dreaming, prevents an entire generation from building up its future. It also means that thousands and thousands of families throughout Europe cannot give their children an education beyond the compulsory one: the recent drop in university enrollment in Italy is just an example of what the crisis brought to our houses: fear and distrust for the future.

But wasn’t the European Union supposed to embody trust in the future? What happened to that dream? We want it back, now. We want, need and deserve a European Union that guarantees equal conditions and equal rights to its citizens. We strongly believe that the crisis can be defeatedonly if we face it by providing social security, jobs and public services to all European citizens. We want to empower them with a more democratic Europe and give them the chance to choose the future they deserve.

As European youth, we have been called “the lost generation”. But labelling people in such a way is not just a misguided simplification, it is also a surrender to the crisis. We don’t accept to be tagged as lost: that’s the reason why we fight to gain the majority in the European Parliament! As European socialists, we are eager to build a new EU, in order to implement a new wave of anti-cyclic policies: encouraging jobs creation processes, especially for the young, fostering social and business innovation as well as a new paradigm of economic growth based on environmentally responsible principles will be our core goals.

The European Union chose to invest in the knowledge economy, but in Italy investments in research and education are decreasing year after year due to the fiscal compact and the conservative, short-sighted policies carried out by our previous governments: you will never find an Italian who believes that the European Union is really trying to build a knowledge economy, because *he can see only cuts in pay and social aid. This is the result of the austerity measures we’ve seen in the last few years: the only perception of Europe is the one we don’t like, the one that cuts public spending and raises taxes, prevents the people from enjoying their rights, embraces a short-term strategy that leads to social unrest.

This is the reason why we have to change the values inspiring European policies: we want the European Union to take a new direction. The direction of democracy, equality, social justice and sustainability, a green economy, innovation, education and knowledge.

The Europe we want takes care of its citizens: it ensures education and jobs. In other words, dignity and a future for everybody, especially the new generation. If you share our vision, come in, join us and vote for us: vote for the Party of European Socialists.

– by Elisa Gambardella

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